President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS
President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS

Many South Africans are celebrating Jacob Zuma’s departure‚ but his administration has a more flattering view of the outgoing president.

The presidency released a 3‚000-word statement on Thursday‚ extolling the achievements of the man from Nkandla‚ who announced on Wednesday night that he was stepping aside at the request of the ANC.

Zuma’s office cites the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture as one of the feathers in his cap.

Below is a summary of Zuma’s other milestones‚ according to the presidency:

National planning and monitoring and evaluation
Zuma established the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation‚ and the National Planning Commission‚ which produced the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030. The NDP aims to eradicate poverty‚ unemployment and inequality by 2030.

Basic services

• Housing: nearly 4.5-million houses and subsidies delivered in 2017.
• Electricity: 84.2% of households connected to the mains in 2016 compared to 77.1% in 2002.
• Sanitation: 80.9% of households enjoyed access in 2016 compared to 62.3% in 2002.

Social grants

• More than 17-million grants provided to poor South Africans‚ including hundreds of thousands of successful matric candidates.


• More than R1-trillion invested in national infrastructure projects between 2009 and 2014.
• R451bn spent between 2004 and 2008.

Expanded public works programme

• 941‚593 work opportunities created in 2012-13‚ up from 550‚000 in 2009.
• 89‚689 work opportunities between April 2010 and March 2011.
• More than 2-million work opportunities since 2014.

Economic growth

Zuma takes credit for tackling the economy by, among other things:

• Fostering good relations between government‚ labour and business.
• Creating an enabling environment for economic growth and development.
• Ensuring policy clarity and promoting investor confidence.
• [Creating] the nine-point plan to ignite growth.
• Reducing red tape for business through “one-stop shop” centres in Pretoria‚ Cape Town and Durban‚ where investors can register companies‚ apply for water‚ electricity or tax.
• Initiatives such as the Black Industrialist Programme (BIP)‚ which was expected to draw investment of R3bn in 2017 and create more than 4‚000 jobs.
• Operation Phakisa‚ which aims to take advantage of the country’s marine resources to drive economic growth.
• Establishing the Department of Small Businesses Development‚ focused on small businesses and co-operatives.

Land reform and ownership

• Zuma’s efforts on this front ultimately led to the resolution at the December 2017 ANC conference on the expropriation of land without compensation.
• Establishing the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in 2009‚ in line with an ANC resolution.

Fight against crime and corruption

• Here, Zuma’s office cites the state-capture inquiry appointed on January 9 “emanating from the remedial action of the Public Protector”.


• The increase in life expectancy from 58.8 years in 2007 to 64.3 in 2015‚ thanks to a successful HIV/AIDS treatment programme.
• Progress made in rolling out national health insurance.
• Finalising the infrastructure needs for all 700 health facilities‚ refurbishment and maintenance.


• Two new universities‚ Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape and the University of Mpumalanga.
• The National Student Financial Aid Scheme increasing from R2.4bn in 2008 to R15n in 2017.
• Expanding access to free education.


• Zuma was a champion for the interests of SA‚ Africa and the developing world.
• Advocating for reform in global institutions such as the UN.
• Launching the Brics New Development Bank Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg.
• Strengthening relations with the EU‚ the Americas‚ Asia and other regions.

Read the full statement here

Jacob Zuma is no longer the president of South Africa. TimesLIVE takes a look back at his tenure leading the country.